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Global Top 3 Wood Products Company

With acquired operations in seven countries and on three continents, it had become a Big Data challenge to standardize a significant amount of materials and services at this large wood products multinational company.

Key facts:

  • 7 Countries Live with Refresh
  • 5 Languages Live in Refresh
  • 5000 Employees
  • Live with Refresh since 2010
  • 200 000 SKU's in scope
  • ERP systems: SAP ECC6 & SAP 4.7

Business Challenge

With acquired operations in seven countries and on three continents, it had become very challenging to standardize any significant amount of materials and services for this large wood products multinational company. Items were being bought daily through many operational buyers in five different languages, some in countries where the head office language is not well-known. In terms of existing software tools, the organization had been running SAP for many years extremely well. However, the underlying material and service line item data was the real issue with 200 000 materials in the ERP system in a mix of 5 languages with possible duplicates, obsoletes and incorrectly classified items. The question was: how best to automatically clean and standardize these 200 000 materials correctly and simultaneously in all five languages in seven countries. And after that: how to keep them standardized and ensure this data standardization globally, at first point of entry?

The executive board had heard about how Refresh had helped another large company in their industry to do this in Germany, Belgium, Austria and the Netherlands and so they included Refresh in a global competitive open RFP process. This included in-depth material cleansing tests & SAP integration tests with real data in English, German, Portuguese, Spanish and French. After the competitive tests with other software providers, Refresh™ Desktop and Refresh Server software were both selected to be rolled out across the entire supply chain. Some factors key in the selection of Refresh™ included:

  • Success in testing with their own data
  • Works with all ERP systems, even on older releases
  • Ease of use allowing the right person to do the job quickly
  • Deep Global International Standards content
  • 5 Languages built as the user types in their local language
  • Pre-Built dictionaries ready to use on day 1
  • Fresh’s agility in customer customization of software
  • Coverage of diverse spend categories
  • Low software implementation effort – no hidden costs

The Solution

Refresh Desktop was deployed within one week of purchase so the standardization of the materials could start. The team and especially the project manager were highly effective at driving this project using the Refresh toolset globally. Refresh Server was customized by the internal IT team and now controls every material change:

Key Business Benefits

+ Reduced off-contract spending, duplicates and obsoletes

+ Cross-Plant Spend Transparency allows better bundling

+ Materials described as commercially neutral - open bids

+ Cross-Plant Material translation - visibility in English

+ Purchase Order Automation & Auto Intrastat Reporting

+ IT lowest total cost of ownership - fully reused ERP

+ Easy to find materials & reduced inventory carrying costs

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